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Government to hire 136,000 contact tracers

The government is planning to hire around 136,000 contact tracers to help track down the close contacts of people who have been tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Sandra Aguinaldo's report on "24 oras," the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will prioritize deploying contact tracers to Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu.

"Our estimate is that there are 136,000, more or less, contact tracers that may be needed. And that would, of course, depend on the amount that we are willing to pay," Karl Kendrick Chua, acting socio-economic planning secretary, said.

Deputy chief implementer against COVID-19 Vince Dizon said this will also help give  Filipinos employment.

"Ang ideal, according to WHO and DOH, ang dapat is one team per 800 persons and one team is composed of seven members," DILG Undersecretary Bernardo Florence Jr. said.

They will be given minimum wage.

"Kung iku-kuwenta natin 'yung minimum wage sa seven members ng isang team, we could come up with two point something billion. Two billion for one month. That is only for one month," Florence said.

Florence said the need for contact tracers will continue under the new normal.

"Contract tracing will become part of the new norm na. Even after our lockdown. Even after makapagano tayo, mag-normalize na gradually, kakailangan pa rin natin talaga itong contact tracing," Florence said.

"Even after this, magagagamit din natin ito sa our template na for future," he added. —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News